What do Montana’s Powder River Basin, Colorado’s Roan Plateau and New Mexico’s San Juan Mountains have in common? All three are truly wild places which offer high-quality fish and wildlife habitat and, all three habitats are in the crosshairs of energy development. To ensure energy development on these lands occurs responsibly, it is imperative that sportsmen have a voice!
Unfortunately, three bills recently introduced in the House of Representatives threaten to strip sportsmen of their voice by prioritizing energy development on public lands over all other uses. The Planning for American Energy Act (H.R. 4381), the Providing Leasing Certainty for American Energy Act (H.R. 4382) and the Streamlining Permitting of American Energy Act (H.R. 4383) attempt to speed-up energy development on public lands by limiting environmental analysis and public input.
If passed, the energy bills would impact sportsmen in the following ways:
- HR 4381 would prioritize energy development over other uses by requiring Department of Interior to “take all necessary actions” to meet the “domestic strategic production objective” unless the President decides that “it is not in the national security and economic interests of the United States to increase Federal domestic energy production.”
- HR 4382 would remove opportunities for sportsmen to provide input on leasing decisions, by undoing recent BLM leasing reforms.
- HR 4383 would limit sportsmen’s ability to protest leasing decisions, by requiring a $5,000 protest processing fee.
To ensure the future of quality backcountry hunting and angling opportunities, future development of public lands must be thoughtfully planned and must diligently consider the voices of wildlife biologists and sportsmen alike. The proposed energy legislation would greatly hinder existing efforts by sportsmen organizations and agencies to ensure this occurs, thus leaving many of the places we care about vulnerable to ‘streamlined’ energy development.
Tell your congressional leadership that sportsmen deserve a say in how our public lands are developed: